Imatges de pÓgina

nabas is, that it really is his composure, because Clemens and Origen ascribe it to him; and although there be in it some odd and strange interpretations of scripture, which are scarce consistent with the character of Barnabas, yet these are to be imputed to the ignorance and customs of the primitive Christians; and though Eusebius and the later Greeks call it apocryphal, that they only did so because of its mystical interpretations of scripture; and that if a book is to be rejected which has been sometimes called apocryphal, we must reject Paul's Epistle to the Hebrews, the Epistle of Jude, and that of Clemens to the Corinthians.


very learned French clergyman has published together all the apostolic fathers, viz. Barnabas, Hermes, Clemens, Ignatius, and Polycarp. His edition is most correct, having had the help of several manuscripts, and is adorned with large and useful annotations. He published it in the year 1672. His opinion concerning the Epistle of Barnabas is, that Clemens Alexandrinus, Origen, and Jerome did believe it genuine; but for his own part thinks it incredible, that so eminent an apostle, a man full of the Holy Ghost and faith, (Acts xi. 24. and xiü. 2.) separated by the Spirit to the work of the ministry with Paul, and his colleague, should be the author of such a work, in which are so many forced allegories, improbable explications of scripture, fables about animals, &c. He believes Origen and Jerome esteemed it not only genuine, but of the canon; but that Clemens Alexandrinus, though he thought it the work of Barnabas, exposed and wrote against it.—That it was certainly wrote after the destruction of Jerusalem, and before the end of the second century, if not early therein. After all this he adds: The Epistle of Barnabas was by Origen and some churches esteemed canonical; by Clemens Alexandrinus sometimes canonical, sometimes not canonical; by Eusebius dubious, spurious, cited by the ancients, and among the better sort of apocryphal; by Jerome apocryphal, and not belonging to the canon.

He supposes it was wrote for the benefit of the * See the preface to his edition of letter of Steph. Baluzius to Emericus the Apostolic Fathers.

Bigotius, among the letters prefixed See the rise and progress of this by Le Clerc to his edition. edition of the Apostolic Fathers, in a

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Christianized Jews, (i. e. the Ebionites,) who were yet too tenacious and fond of their old Jewish rites and ceremonies.

6. Dr. Fellt, bishop of Oxford. After all the former, he also published at Oxford an edition of the Epistle of Barnabas in the year 1685. It is evident that he, as several of our English divines have, chose rather to deliver their sentiments of this and the other apostolic fathers ambiguously, than clearly; fearing to own expressly what they seem to have been persuaded of in their own minds, that these books ought to be treated with the same respect as several of the books of our present canon. He says concerning the Epistle of Barnabas, that whatever we suppose of it, we must at least own, that he was in all points orthodox, and one that closely imitated St. Paul: that its authority is not the less, because its author may not be certainly known, or because it lay for some time obscure; for this was the case of several of the books of the canon: and that we are not to pretend to be able to make so good a judgment of its genuineness as Clemens Alexandrinus and Origen, who lived in the next century, and ascribed it to Barnabas: that it did not continue to be read in the churches as other scriptures, only for the reason of its being obscure and mystical, which (says he) is the very case of some of the more obscure parts of the canon now: that its most forced and farfetched allegories are borrowed from St. Paul's Epistles, &c.


Savilian professor at Oxford. He not only judges it genuine, but that it was in so great esteem at Alexandria, as to be read from beginning to end in their churches, as the canonical scriptures were; and this he supposes was done in that famous church, because St. Mark, who was its founder, had been the assistant and companion of Barnabas. See the Preface to his short notes on Barnabas at the end of the Oxford edition.

8. Mr. DODWELL U. He esteemed Barnabas, as well as Hermes, &c. to be undoubted writers of the first century, and whose works were

** So I call the editor of this edition, though his name be not prefixed, har. ing heard he was the person, and find.

iug it not obscurely intimated by Dr. Mill, Proleg. in N. T. g. 1449 et 1497.

u Dissert. 1. in Iren. §. 39.

published before some books of the present canon, viz. the Epistle of Jude, and the writings of both the Johns.

9. Du Pinx. The substance of what he says is, that though the church has not delivered to us the Epistle of Barnabas as canonical, yet we are not for that reason to reject it, but to look upon

it as an Epistle written by the apostle Barnabas.

10. Dr. CAVEY. He contends, that this Epistle is the genuine Epistle of Barnabas, and answers the three arguments which La Moyne has brought against its being written by Barnabas.

11. FREDERICK SPANHEIM Z Concludes from the style, design, perpetual allegories, and odd expositions of scripture, that it has scarce any thing of the simplicity of the apostolic age in it.

12. Mr. TOLANDA Observes, that the Epistle of Barnabas, as well as Hermes and the other apostolic fathers, are generally received in the church of Rome, and by most protestants; but those of the church of England have particularly signalized themselves in their defence, and by publishing the correctest impressions of them. The ancients paid them the highest respect, and reckoned the first four especially (viz. Barnabas, Hermes, Polycarp, and Clemens Romanus) as good as any part of the New Testament. The Epistle of Barnabas is by Clemens Alexandrinus and Origen not only reckoned genuine, but cited as scripture, &c. In another placeb Mr. Toland is of opinion, that it is the easiest task in the world, next to that of shewing the ignorance and superstition of the writers, to prove them all spurious, and fraudulently imposed upon the credulous. And elsewhere“, “ If they think them genuine, why do they not 6 receive them into the canon of scriptures, since they were “ the companions and followers of the apostles, as well as St. 66 Mark and St. Luke ?"

13. Dr. WAKE, the present archbishop of Canterbury. In the year 1693, he obliged the world with a translation of * History of the Canon, vol. 2. c. 6. 2 Histor. Christ. sæcul. 1. p. 570.

a Amyptor, p. 44. Hist. Liter. vol. 1. in Barnab. p.11,

b Ibid. p. 38.
c Ibid. p. 47, 48.



the apostolic fathers, Barnabas, Ignatius, Clement, Polycarp, and Hermes, into English, together with the martyrdoms of Ignatius and Polycarp. To each of these he has prefixed a discourse concerning it, and after these added one chapter concerning the authority, and another concerning the usefulness of these apostolic treatises, (viz. chap. 10. and 11.) I have had occasion alreadyd to observe what his grace's sentiments are concerning these pieces, and how he esteems them wrote by persons endued with the extraordinary assistance of the Holy Spirit, and tells us, we ought therefore to look upon them as an authoritative declaration of the Gospel of Christ : that the authors were inspired, and not only have not mistaken, but were not capable of mistaking the mind of the apostles, &c. This is to be esteemed as his grace's opinion concerning Barnabas in particular: to which I shall only add, that in his discourse on this Epistle, ch. 7. he endeavours to vindicate its genuineness against all objections that have been made to it.

14. Dr. Mille Supposes the Epistle of Barnabas written after the destruction of Jerusalem ; but not so long after, but that the Epistle of Jude, the three Epistles of John, and the Revelation, were wrote after it was.

15. Mr. EACHARDf, That Barnabas wrote his Epistle about the year 72, and though it was of great repute among the ancients, and sometimes read in the Christian churches, yet never was admitted into the canon of the holy scripture.—The frame and contexture of it is intricate and obscure to us, made up of uncouth allegories, with some forced and improbable interpretations of scripture.

16. Dr. S. CLARKS. The Epistle of Barnabas is without all controversy an ancient work of the apostolic age, being quoted by almost all the primitive fathers: that there are internal arguments, drawn from the simplicity of style and way of arguing used in these writings, (viz. Barnabas, Hermes, &c.) agreeable to the custom of the age in which they are supposed to be written, from the conformity of the matter contained in them to the doctrine and discipline of those times, &c. which afford-good reason to believe these books to be genuine ;-and though the Epistle of Barnabas contain some very strange and allegorical interpretations of scripture, yet he that considers how much that manner of interpretation was anciently in use among the Jews in their Targums, and how many important truths were that way conveyed, so that the apostles themselves, in their arguings with the Jews, did often make use of it, as we see in their uncontroverted writings, will rather choose modestly to suspend his judgment, than rashly to upbraid this author with the terms of foolish and ridiculous : —that Barnabas and the other books are to have a proportionable veneration with those of the canon; yet we have not the same evidence of their genuineness; there is something human, something of infirmity, something of fallibility in them.

8 Reflect. on Amyntor at the end of volume, p. 5.

his Letters about the immortality of the • Prolegom. in N. T. §. 144.

soul. See p. 263, 269, 273, &c.

d See the Dissertation before the first

f Eccles. Hist. b. 2. c. 8. §. 2.

17. Mr. WHISTOnh Places the Epistle of Barnabas in his Catalogue of the Books of the New Testament, and supposes it written A. D. 87, and elsewhere calls it a sacred book of the New Testamenti; and in a late treatise written to exclude the Canticles from the canon of the Old Testament, he calls Barnabas that prodigious allegorizer. See p. 30.

18. Mr. LE CLERCk Is for compounding the matter between all the former, by supposing that Barnabas indeed wrote a short and plain epistle, which was afterwards corrupted, and interpolated largely by some person or other for his own private advantage.

19. Dr. JENKIN The genuine Epistle of Barnabas, who is styled an apostle, Acts xii. 2. and xiv. 14. was never received but as apocryphal, (viz. because it was not known to be inspired.) Upon all personal and human accounts, an Epistle of St. Barnabas or St. Clement must have carried as much authority with it as any thing under the name of St. Mark or St. Luke. If either in h Essay on the Constitutions, p. 17, §. 2. p. 474.

| Reasonableness and Certainty of i Ibid. p. 36.

the Christian Religion, vol. 2. C. 4. p. k Hist. Eccl. sæcul. 1. ad ann. 71. 92.


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